Wednesday, January 31, 2007


A tale of two partisan scribes

Two weeks ago, David Limbaugh's Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party was a permanent fixture on my away-from-home desk. Spying this book, one of my co-workers suggested that I should purchase one of Al Franken's death-to-Republicans scribblings, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right in particular. "If I decide to read that book, I'll get if from the library," says I. "I've no intention of padding Mr. Franken's coffers by purchasing one of his ridiculous screeds."

As verbose as I am, I couldn't allow that to be my final statement. I vigorously flipped through the final pages of Mr. Limbaugh's book and said this to my co-worker: "Notice how many pages of detailed notes are included in this book? I doubt Al Franken's book will have a list of his sources." (For the record, Limbaugh's book features 56 pages of notes.)

Knowing Al Franken's history as I do, I wasn't surprised when I found the following tidbit in a September 1, 2003, New York Times review of Lies and the Lying Liars ... :

"Mr. Franken ... fuels his arguments by barely annotating much of this book's data and skipping a closing index entirely."

You'd think that a person who has the balls to brand others as "idiots" and "liars" would at least back up his assertions with detailed notes. You'd think, but we are talking about Al Franken here.

That said, Franken has routinely employed Harvard-educated "experts" to help him conduct research for his books. A dozen or so such experts were toiling for Franken prior to the publication of Lies and the Lying Liars. Team Franken failed to produce a single page of annotated comments for said book.

If I were Al Franken, methinks I'd be asking for my money back. Indeed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Who wants to be "socially responsible" ... ?

Over the past couple of years, "socially responsible" mutual funds have gotten a lot of favorable press in the financial media. For the uninitiated, socially responsible funds eschew investing in politically incorrect industries, i.e., tobacco companies, firearms manufacturers, et al. According to the Nation magazine, some of the bleeding heart mutual funds go so far as to avoid companies that "trample on the rights of indigenous peoples." Good for them!

For those of us who could care less about being socially responsible, there's finally a mutual fund in which we can proudly invest our hard-earned dollars. The Vice Fund's portfolio includes companies involved in tobacco, gambling, firearms, and alcohol. They have a pretty good track record to boot.

Look 'em up:

Monday, January 29, 2007


Quote of the day

"Let's say I believe firmly in Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But it's very hard sometimes to adhere to that where Chuck Hagel is involved."

-- Vice President Dick Cheney

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Out o' town

The Nigh Seen Creeder is out o' town on b'iness.

We'll be back on Sunday, January 28.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Al Gore blows

Sometimes ordinary citizens have the best take on issues of national importance. Today's Wall Street Journal features a letter from Cincinnati's Paul Bloustein, who tells us that Al Gore's global warming bloviations are so much hot air (pun certainly intended). To wit:

Gore Blows Cold On Warm Debate

Al Gore has become a global scold, but, it seems, a chicken-hearted one. His refusal to debate whether the current era of global warming is just another cycle in the earth's evolving climatologic history and not, as he believes, a man-made phenomenon, is truly disconcerting. Meteorologists who study this sort of thing have determined that warm/cold cycles have occurred since before humankind was even a gleam in God's eye.

Mr. Gore needed a bandwagon following his bitter defeat in the aptly named Sunshine State in 2000 that spelled the end of his White House hopes. He has found one in global warming, but for Mr. Gore, as the old song has it, it is not the earth that is "too damn hot," but the debate his hand-wringing has occasioned.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Black Caucus: "Get goin', Cohen"

It's looking increasingly likely that U.S. Representative Steve Cohen's stay in Washington, DC, will be a short one. I reckoned the day after last year's congressional election that the Ford Family was already plotting to re-take the seat Harold Ford, Jr., aka Junior, abandoned in order to mount an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate:

"It's no secret that Papa Ford is not happy with the fact that Steve Cohen is replacing Junior in the U.S. House (I'll leave the obvious racial aspect of Papa's "unhappiness" for others to discuss). ... Steve Cohen will face a Ford-backed consensus black candidate in the August 2008 primary."

The Politico is reporting that Steve Cohen recently sought membership in the Congressional Black Caucus and was promptly told that he hasn't the necessary skin tone to join. Cohen was quick to point out that nowhere in the Caucus' bylaws does it state that a person must be black to join, but he was rebuffed with extreme prejudice (no pun intended). Cohen also reminded the members of the Caucus that he represents a majority black district, but, again, he was told that he wouldn't be able to join in any Black Caucus games.

I would imagine that Cohen's quixotic attempt to join the Congressional Black Caucus is causing much gnashing of teeth amongst the Ford Family and the Ford Family's supporters. While Cohen certainly has legitimate reasons to join the Black Caucus, a white guy's attempt to join an all-black legislative group, especially when said white guy is also a Jew, gives the Fords additional "he's not one of us" ammunition when they choose the consensus black candidate who will challenge - and defeat - Cohen in 2008.

Monday, January 22, 2007


"Let's not start ... ," Hillary

Senator Hillary Clinton stands a good chance of being elected president in 2008, a Washington Post poll found:

Clinton beats former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani 49 percent to 47 percent in the Post's poll; she bests U.S. Senator John McCain 50-45. Giuliani and McCain are widely regarded as the two Republican frontrunners.

The 2008 presidential campaign right now is nothing more than a popularity contest. Thus, I was a little bit suspicious when I saw Clinton ahead of Giuliani. Hillary's more popular than America's Mayor? "Come on," I says to myself.

Well, leave it to Rich Galen to tell us the truth about the Washington Post's "scientific" poll. As Galen points out, the Post's numbers "are suspect because the poll had party ID (including leaners) at 56 percent Democrat, 34 percent Republican and 7 percent Independents."

I'm not surprised that Hillary Clinton gets 50 percent in a poll in which Democrats make up more than half the sample. What I do find surprising, however, is that such a poll is considered - by anyone - to be "scientific" or reprsentative of the voting public as a whole.

I certainly hope the Clinton campaign isn't getting too exited about the outcome of the Post's poll. There's a long time to go between now and November 2008. That's a lot of time during which the American people get to hear Clinton in all her shrill, shrieking glory. To borrow a line from Pulp Fiction, the Clinton team shouldn't start [doing dirty things to each other to celebrate] just yet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Judge to Seinfeld: Pay up, buddy

"Jerry Seinfeld's high-priced home is going to cost him more than he thought - about $100,000 more," the Associated Press reports.

Late last week, a Manhattan judge ruled that Seinfeld owes a $100,000 commission to Tamara Cohen, the broker who helped him find a townhouse on the Upper West Side that he bought for $4 million in February 2005. Seinfeld had argued that Cohen did not deserve the commission because she failed to show the West 82nd Street on the day Seinfeld wanted to see it, which happened to be a Saturday.

According to the AP, "the Seinfelds looked at the house and made a deal to buy it without Cohen after they were unable to reach Cohen and she failed to return their calls." Cohen told the court that Seinfeld was aware that she observed the Jewish Sabbath and could not work between Friday evening and sundown Saturday. Seinfeld told the court he did not know why Cohen did not return his calls.

This story proves that we should never underestimate how greedy and stingy rich liberals can be. Not only is Jerry Seinfeld more than financially capable of paying a 5 percent commission on a real estate purchase, he should be embarrassed for trotting out a ridiculously spurious reason for why he shouldn't have to pay said commission.

Jerry Seinfeld is Jewish. His real estate broker has a Jewish surname. Seinfeld was attempting to purchase a home in an area of Manhattan that has a large number of Jewish residents. Indeed, the oldest Jewish congregation in NYC, Shearith Israel, is located on the Upper West Side. Common sense should've told Seinfeld that maybe, just maybe, a person named Cohen was unavailable on a Saturday because she was at synagogue or observing the Sabbath.

Jerry Seinfeld is obviously a very smart guy. I certainly would've figured him as someone who could think up a better excuse than the I-tried-to-call-but-nobody-answered excuse he used to try to get out of a financial obligation. Obviously, I was wrong.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


President Fred?

ElaphantBiz says a former Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee may very well be in the presidential mix before the year is over (and the Senator in question ain't Bill Frist):

"Might [Fred] Thompson be prepping for a presidential run? He says he isn't running, but perhaps he is, unconventionally, courting Republican conservatives in case that when the field clears later this year it becomes obvious that, of the three likely to still be in the race, neither Arizona Sen. John McCain nor former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a chance at the conservative vote, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's support among social conservatives is brittle and based less on a love for Romney than on their distaste for the other two. In that scenario, a late entry by Thompson could rapidly erode Romney's support and likely take down McCain too as Thompson does well with moderates and independents.

"America once elected a president whose resume included stints as an elected official, an actor and a radio commentator - twice, actually, the second time in a landslide. It's not impossible that they could have the chance to do so again."

Fred Thompson is now doing radio commentary on the Paul Harvey Show, which, as ElephantBiz points out, reaches 22 million listeners per week. You can listen to Thompson's latest commentary, in which he disses members of the congressional cut-and-run caucus, here. A sample:

"Is it really in our country’s best interest to signal to the enemy that they probably only have to wait us out a little longer because congressional determination to defeat them is crumbling? Doesn’t such a resolution further diminish our chances for success at the very time our soldiers are preparing to go into battle?"

Friday, January 19, 2007


The Clinton attack machine oils its gears

The Clinton machine is already gleefully whacking away at Barack Obama's knees:

"Are the American people ready for an elected president who was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy and has not been forthcoming about his Muslim heritage?

"This is the question Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's camp is asking about Sen. Barack Obama.

"An investigation of Mr. Obama by political opponents within the Democratic Party has discovered that Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia. Sources close to the background check, which has not yet been released, said Mr. Obama, 45, spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.

"'He was a Muslim, but he concealed it,' the source said. 'His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign.'

"When contacted by Insight, Mr. Obama's press secretary said he would consult with "his boss" and call back. He did not.

"Sources said the background check, conducted by researchers connected to Senator Clinton, disclosed details of Mr. Obama's Muslim past. The sources said the Clinton camp concluded the Illinois Democrat concealed his prior Muslim faith and education.

"'The background investigation will provide major ammunition to his opponents,' the source said. 'The idea is to show Obama as deceptive.'"


Senator Franken? No, thank you ...

Al Franken, the comedian turned author turned talk-show host, has his sights set on Norm Coleman's (R-Minn.)U.S. Senate seat. John Hawkins tells ol' Al why he has no chance in hell of being elected:

"Granted, he isn't seeking advice from me, but I'll do Al a favor and give him some advice anyway. Al, you have no chance, no chance whatsoever, to be a senator because every stupid thing you've ever written or said ... is going to be dredged up and used against you in a campaign.

"Now, Al, you may think you can trot out the old, 'Gee, I'm a comedian and I was just kidding,' excuse and that will take care of it. But, how many times will that work? By the time the opposition researchers are done with you, they'll have a list of stupid and offensive faux pas as long as your arm and they'll be released and discussed ad nauseum throughout the campaign, with the stupidest and most obnoxious of them saved until the end.

"There's a reason people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, etc., don't run for office despite the fact that they do the same thing you do, and better. You can be a talk radio host, a blogger, a columnist or a politician. Maybe there are a few exceptional people who can manage to do both, but Al Franken isn't one of them."

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Governor Frist? (part deux)

This morning's City Paper has a story about a possible Bill Frist gubernatorial campaign:

"Tennessee Republicans suggest the GOP nominee for governor in 2010 is likely Bill Frist’s for the asking, though party leaders seem to be knocking down that notion [sic] the former Senate majority leader has already set his sites on the seat."


Governor Frist?

"Former Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is seriously considering a gubernatorial run in Tennessee in 2010, possibly setting up a White House bid further down the road," the Hill reports.

"Sources in Washington and Tennessee say Frist, who will turn 55 next month, is leaning heavily toward a run for the governor’s office, where he could gain executive experience that might position him to try for the presidency in either 2012 or 2016.

"'It’s a done deal,' said a source with knowledge of Frist’s plans."

If Frist jumps into the gubernatorial race, it will certainly upset the plans of two local Republicans: U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn and former State Senator Jim Bryson.

It's pretty common knowledge at this point that Bryson agreed to mount his quixotic campaign against Governor Phil Bredesen after receiving assurances from Blackburn that he'll have an open shot at her congressional seat when she runs for governor in four years. With Frist in the mix, Blackburn - or any Republican, really - will have trouble matching Frist's money and name i.d. (but especially his money).

Furthermore, I think the state GOP will not tolerate another divisive primary like the one we saw in last year's U.S. Senate race. Enourmous pressure will be put on lesser known, and underfunded, Republicans who have gubernatorial aspirations to step aside in favor of the person with the best chance of winning. If Frist throws his hat in the ring, he becomes that person.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Sen. Empty Suit steps up

The male Oprah Winfrey, aka Barack Obama, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to set up a presidential exploratory committee. According to John Hawkins, an Obama for President campaign is good news for the GOP:

"[Obama] is an unaccomplished, inexperienced, empty suit liberal who probably couldn't beat the top 7 or 8 Republican candidates in a general election. Plus, as an added bonus, liberals will have to beat up on him to stop him which will, by the very standards they've put in place, cause them to be accused of racism. All in all, he's a nice addition to the field -- for Republicans."

I took issue with Obama a few weeks back. I think my wise words bear repeating:

Barack Obama has a pretty face and he can impress an audience with pretty talk; thus, it's no wonder that certain media outlets and talking heads are hyping him as the next president. What these talking heads don't want to talk about is Obama's voting record -- and for good reason. Maybe, just maybe, the media mavens know that once his voting record becomes an issue, voters will fall off the Obama for Prez bandwagon as quickly as they'll supposedly jump on. Here's a brief overview of his record on important issues:

Abortion -- Obama believes that American women, young and old, should have an unfettered right to an abortion at any stage and for any reason.

Health Care -- Obama says that health care is a "basic human right." Therefore, he supports a government-run national health care system.

Gun Control -- [Last] year, Obama voted against shielding firearms manufacturers from lawsuits due to gun violence and in favor of legislation that would ban the sale or transfer of any and all semi-automatic firearms.

Immigration -- As an Illinois state senator in 1998, Obama voted to give welfare and Medicaid to undocumented immigrants.

Judges -- Obama voted against the nominations of both John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, and he participated in the filibuster of Alito. ...

[Obama] will certainly wow the left-wingers who turn out for Democratic presidential primaries. However, he'll have a hard time convincing swing-state voters in a general election that he's not Ted Kennedy sans red nose and boozy bloat. As far as presidential politics goes, Democrats will never be successful as long as they have to concede entire regions of the country, i.e., the South, the Texas to North Dakota agricultural belt, etc., to the GOP. Obama, despite his pretty face and pretty tongue, will have a very difficult time convincing voters in Kansas, Texas, West Virgina, or Tennessee that it's a good idea to give welfare to illegals or that it's a bad idea to let hunters purchase semi-automatic rifles.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Gray days for Tennessee Democrats

Gray Sasser, son of former U.S. Senator Jim Sasser, was recently elected chairman of the state Democratic Party. According to today's City Paper, Sasser is not only relishing his new job, he's "hopeful ... for the future" of the Tennessee Democratic Party as well. The obvious question is: Why?

Tennessee is not only a conservative state, it is a thoroughly Republican state as well. Yes, but, doesn't Phil Bredesen's big victory last year dispute this notion? Not at all. In 2002, Phil Bredesen was elected on a platform of low taxes and promises to use the power of the market to deal with issues like TennCare. That is, he more or less ran as a Republican. In fact, if an individual knew absolutely nothing about Phil Bredesen except what he or she had seen in the governor-to-be's 2002 television ads, the individual in question would've had to conclude that Bredesen is a card-carrying Republican.

Bredesen's 2006 re-election campaign was chock full of sloganeering on behalf of conservative causes (see illegal immigration), and he easily defeated an opponent will little money and no name recognition. Bredesen, however, had no coattails: Junior lost; Bredesen buds like Bob Rochelle, Mary Parker, and Vince Springer came up well short in their respective bids to defeat GOP members of the State Senate; and Democrats failed to pick up any seats in the State House of Representatives.

The GOP's gaining complete control of the State Senate for the first time in 130-something years has been the topic du jour in the blogosphere recently. Thus, I'll not dive into that subject here. I will say this, however: The fact that a down-the-line Democrat, i.e., Rosalind Kurita, crossed the aisle to support the Republican candidate for Speaker shows that state Democrats currently do not have their heads and their asses wired together. I'm afraid Kurita's defection is only the first crack of many cracks the Democrats will be trying to seal in the months ahead.

One of my fondest political memories is seeing Gray Sasser crying his eyes out during his father's concession speech on election night 1994. Sasser's no doubt a very smart individual, but a tough-talking, tough-minded politico he ain't. His selection as state party chief says a lot about the current state of Tennessee Democrats. Let's just hope, for Gray Sasser's sake, that they've put up a large supply of tissues.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Remembering MLK

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' ... I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. ... And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most quoted from Martin King's "I Have a Dream" speech is, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Today, however, Jesse Jackson (King's chief aide during those tumultuous civil rights protests) and virtually every other black "leader" push, prod, and cajole for programs and policies that judge by skin color alone, regardless of character.

Irrespective of one's conclusion about Martin King's proper place in history (given what we know about his personal character lapses, including marital infidelity, his association with known Communists, questions about the originality of his doctoral dissertation, and the violation of his message by those who succeeded him), the two texts cited below are well worth reading -- for each of them proclaim truth.

"I Have a Dream"

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Religious left: More left than religious

The Campaign for Working Families PAC cogently explains that the so-called religious left is more left than religious:

"A new report by the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) casts some very revealing light on the National Council of Churches (NCC), the vanguard of 'religious Left' movement in America.  While Big Media ceaselessly frets about the political activity of the 'religious Right,' it rarely takes on the 'religious Left.' 

"But the report by IRD ought to raise a few eyebrows.  The NCC’s primary spokesman has been the Reverend Bob Edgar –- a former Democrat member of Congress.  It seems that as membership in liberal mainline denominations has declined over the years, Edgar has been reaching out to some of his former political allies for help in fundraising.

"According to IRD’s report, the NCC now receives a majority of its funding not from churches or religious groups, but leftwing secular organizations with no interest in faith or religion at all.  For example, the NCC received grants from the Sierra Club, the Ford Foundation, Ted Turner’s United Nation’s Fund, and another group connected to George Soros.  The NCC also applied for a $100,000 grant from the radical Left lobbying group MoveOn.Org! 

"As it turns out, only six of the NCC’s top 16 funders are church organizations.  Could it be that the National Council of Churches and the 'religious Left' generally are more 'left' than 'religious'?  That would likely explain why Big Media never complains when the 'religious Left' injects its values into the political arena."


Amen, brother

"Scientology has nothing to do with religion and certainly nothing to do with Christianity. ... [Scientologists] want to pressure people and do business under the cloak of religion."

-- Wolfgang Huber, chairman of the Lutheran Church in Germany

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Jimmy Carter did many a bad, bad thing

Gerald Ford's hometown newspaper, the Grand Rapids Press, has released 25 years worth of interviews featuring the former president. Some of the interviews indicate that President Ford had a profound - and misguided - change of heart about Jimmy Carter, who defeated Ford in the 1976 presidential contest.

When Jimmy Carter left office in 1981, Ford had this to say about his former adversary: "I feel very strongly that Jimmy Carter was a disaster, particularly domestically and economically. I have said more than once that he was certainly the poorest president of my lifetime." An interview conducted a few years later revealed that Ford had changed his tune: "[Carter] will be looked on as a better president than some comments we hear today."

Ford's later-in-life view of Jimmy Carter was no doubt influenced by Carter's post-presidential activities. Unfortunately, history's view of Carter is also being influenced not by his disastrous four-year stay in the White House, but by his well thought-out campaign to be seen as the world's foremost empathizer and peacemaker (second only, perhaps, to Saint Nelson Mandela).

If I'd been sitting in on the interview during which Ford suggested that Jimmy Carter would be fondly remembered, this is what I would have said:

Have you forgotten, sir, about double-digit inflation, gas lines, hostages in Tehran, charred helicopters in the Iranian desert, "malaise," the Olympic boycott, Soviet encroachment across the globe (Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua, etc.), the energy crisis, scandals involving Bert Lance and Billy Carter, etc.?

Jimmy Carter's presidency can only be described as an abject failure. The only "achievement" to which Jimmy Carter can lay claim, i.e., the Camp David Accords, was eventually exposed as a hollow accomplishment when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was murdered by a gang of Islamist thugs. Indeed, Islamic fascism might never have become a global threat if Jimmy Carter had authorized a fear-of-God military assault on the then-weak mullahs of Tehran.

From the day he left office, Carter has cagily endeavored to make us all forget what a crappy president he was. He's built houses; he's supervised elections across the globe; he's written soupy poetry and prose; and he shamelessly campaigned for the Nobel Peace Prize until he won the freakin' thing. None of these do-good measures, however, can make up for his four-year presidential effort, during which he knocked America's **** soundly into the dirt.

I apologize for being so blunt, but I speak the truth.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Rep. Neil Abercrombie "Limbaughs" Condi Rice

As you may remember, Rush Limbaugh lost his gig with ESPN in 2003 when he was criticized for saying that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was spared criticism because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed. (He also said, as Jeff Garcia is proving, that McNabb is "overrated.")

Limbaugh's comment - directed at the media, not McNabb - may have been a tad wrongheaded, but it was not inherently racist. The comment in question had no sooner left Limbaugh's mouth, however, before Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the rest of the Racial Grievances Committee erupted in fits. Limbaugh was forced to resign a few days later.

I couldn't help think back to the Limbaugh/McNabb imbroglio when I heard about U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie's (D-Hawaii) dig at Secretary of State Condi Rice. In an interview with the Honolulu Star Bulletin, Abercrombie had this to say about Secretary Rice:

"[She is] the most overrated, underperforming individual in executive authority that I have ever seen. She constantly gets a pass. Who knows if the whole question of race and gender come into it, but ... I can't account for it, except to say she isn't up to the mark."

I, for one, don't see a whole hell of a lot of difference between what Limbaugh said about McNabb and what Abercrombie said about Rice. Shouldn't we now expect the Jacksons and Sharptons of the world to come to the secretary of state's defense? We should, but we know they won't.'s Streiff has a take on the matter that is spot-on:

"What will happen here? Nothing. Because standards of decorum just don’t apply to Democrat pols. ...

"So Abercrombie, who has accomplished nothing in his life other than hold elective office while doing little or nothing in that office, is able to claim that Secretary of State Rice, a person with an actual honest to gosh track record of accomplishment, gets a pass because of her race or gender."

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Newsflash: State House Democrats are NEVER partisan

State Representative Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) is peeved because a majority of the Republicans in the General Assembly abstained from voting for the re-election of the state comptroller and state treasurer. In an interview with the Nashville City Paper, Turner took issue with his Republican colleagues with this quip:

“[W]hat they basically said is 'we're not going to vote for a Democrat.' That doesn't say much for bipartisanship.”

If Turner's so concerned about "bipartisanship," perhaps he should schedule a sit-down with his boss, House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh. Naifeh hasn't a bipartisan bone in his body; and it's a bit disingenuous for Turner to castigate Republicans for being partisan when one considers how Naifeh's treated the GOP over the years. For Example:

Naifeh has steadfastly refused to appoint Republicans as officers of committees that have any policy-making authority. (In a 1996 interview Naifeh pettily name-checked Newt Gingrich as his inspiration for the way in which he chose committee chairs, as if the administrative procedures of the U.S. House have any relevance on Nashville's Capitol Hill.) Naifeh routinely instructs subcommittee chairs to kill Republican bills, and he allows Republican bills with widespread popular support to be heavily amended in order for Democrats to claim credit. Finally, Republicans - especially Republicans who are critical of Naifeh or Democrats in general - are assigned offices in the War Memorial Building, which is uncomfortably stuffy in the summer, damp and drafty in the winter, and features drinking fountains that squirt water a dog wouldn't drink.

Before Rep. Turner alerts Republicans about the partisan splinters in their eyes, he needs to point out the fact that Jimmy Naifeh has a partisan log the size of the Washington Monument in his eye. So there.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Ted Welch: Baggin' for Mitt Romney

The Hotline is reporting that GOP fundraiser extraordinaire Ted Welch has thrown his lot in with Governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign:

"Hours after his predecessor was sworn in, Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney released a list of major Republican donors who have agreed to help him raise millions for his presidential campaign.

"Several people on the list have been public supporters of Romney's for a while, like Jon Huntsman, Sr., the developer and father of Utah's governor, John Miller, the founder of the National Beef Backing Company, John Rakolta Jr., chair of the largest homebuilding corporation in the Midwest, and eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a billionaire.

"But one new name stands out: Ted Welch, the Tennessee investment banker who masterminded Sen. Lamar Alexander's (R-TN) $20 million haul in 1996 and who, since he the RNC's finance chair in 1977, has been one of the party's most proficient and generous fundraisers.

"Welch was courted by a bevy of Republican presidential candidates after ex-Maj. Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) decided not to run. He reportedly was upset that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) backed Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) for the post of minority whip instead of Alexander."


Why we should be thankful that Wilder's gone

Bill Hobbs tells us why it's important that Ron Ramsey is now the State Senate Speaker. To wit:

A single line in today's Nashville City Paper story about the end of Sen. John Wilder's long tenure as Speaker of the state Senate underscores why it is so important:

For the first time in memory, the Republicans will have a majority on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, giving them more influence on how the state spends, or doesn't spend, its money.

And more influence on how the state taxes the citizenry, too. With Gov. Phil Bredesen now saying he wants to increase the state's cigarette tax to pay for an as-yet unspecified new program - rather than couple it with a decrease in the state's sales tax on groceries, control of the Finance committee gives Republicans the leverage to force a food tax decrease in return for the cigarette tax increase, if they so chose.

Beyond the cigarette tax/food tax debate, it's likely now that the Senate Finance Committee will no longer be the roadblock to a constitutional amendment to cap the annual growth of the state budget and return surplus revenue to the people, too. One assumes that new Speaker Ron Ramsey won't re-appoint state Sen. Doug Henry, the roadblock to that reform, to chair the committee. Things just got a lot more interesting at Legislative Plaza.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The State Senate enters the Modern Age

"State Sen. Ron Ramsey today became the first Republican since Reconstruction to become Tennessee's Lt. Governor and Senate Speaker, beating out long-time Democratic Sen. John Wilder in an 18-15 vote," the Nashville City Paper reports.

I was a bit surprised to learn that Sen. Rosiland Kurita threw her lot in with the Republicans. Could it be that she's still a tad angry at the way the Democratic establishment elbowed her out of last year's U.S. Senate race in favor of Harold Ford, Jr., aka Junior?

The biggest question now is whether or not John Wilder will be content to serve as just another state senator. Wilder'd given indications that he'd resign if he lost the race for Speaker. I certainly look for him to do just that.


Samuel Huntington tells it like it is

I recently re-read my well thumbed copy of The Clash of Civilizations. When one reflects upon the terrorist attacks that have occured since TCOF was first published, one sees just how spot-on Samuel Huntington's thesis was (is).

Huntington's now doing a little truth-telling in regard to immigration in the United States. A sample:

The unprecedented inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos form their own political and linguistic enclaves - from Los Angeles to Miami - and reject the Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream. The reconquista of the United States has begun.



"Senator Mike Williams accepted the contributions of the Republican Party, sought the nomination of the Republican Party for the state Senate, ran on that Republican Party nomination for the state Senate, and was elected to the state Senate three times now as a member of the Republican Party. Loyalty to party is both expected and requested in this circumstance."

-- Hawkins County Republican Party resolution urging Mike Williams to vote for the GOP's candidate for State Senate Speaker

Monday, January 08, 2007


Fan Mail Monday

JMitch0365 doesn't care for anything I have to say. I received e-mail from JM in which he/she not only accused me of being on the "Bushies [sic] payroll," he/she
uncorked this little ignore-the-facts/left-wing-talking-point gem as well:

"The arrogant little Texas twerp is still lying through his teeth. Don't trust this guy. America is going downhill fast since Bill Clinton left office. All we've had is war and job losses."

I responded thusly:


Methinks you need a short tutorial in recent history. I'm more than happy to oblige. To wit:

During the Clinton Presidency, the United States was far from "at peace," if you will. Indeed, on Bill Clinton's watch, the U.S. suffered the following terrorist attacks:

1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1,000.
1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel.
1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel.
1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000.
2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors.

Not only did Mr. Clinton ignore Sudan when its government offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to U.S. authorities, we now know - as witnessed in the New York Times - that the Clinton Administration was given the name and PHONE NUMBER of a 9/11 hijacker in 1999 ... and did nothing. The war on terrorism was a big, fat mess placed in President Bush's lap by St. Bill Clinton and his minions. In response, President Bush proposed the most ambitious foreign policy goal this nation had ever seen, i.e., fostering the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East. If Bush were to succeed, he'd be remembered as a president for the ages. It'd really toast your cockles if such were to happen, wouldn't it? That's what drives all the hatred for the "little twerp," isn't it?

You leftists never tire of harping on the number of jobs lost during the first year and a half of the Bush Presidency. What you don't say - or, sadly, don't know - is that 22 states suffered manufacturing job losses from 1993-2001 (New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Florida, West Virginia, Maine, Alaska, Louisiana, and Hawaii). Do you know when manufacturing employment spiked in the state of Tennessee? 1995. Who was president then?

Furthermore, when President Bush took the oath of office, the NASDAQ technology index had already plunged 70 percent from its historic high; the U.S. economy had rolled over to less than 1 percent growth from 8 percent in late 1999; and the domestic private-sector economy (excluding trade and government spending) had shrunk two consecutive quarters. We now know that the 2001 recession so often described as the "Bush recession" by leftist nitwits actually began in December 2000. Again, who was president then?

President Bush pushed through Congress a bold plan to reduce marginal tax rates, and the economy responded with record GDP growth and over 7 million new jobs. What have Democrats offered in response? Well, the newly elected Democrats in Congress have promised to reverse the very tax cuts that've spurred economic growth since 2003. If that's the best the Democrats can offer, to them I say: NO THANKS!

Finally, your cause is not served when you dub President Bush a "little twerp." I seem to recall that you leftists bristled each time Bill Clinton was dubbed a draft-dodger, serial philanderer, liar, despoiler of interns, etc. But then, being hypocrites has never really bothered you folks ... has it?

Sunday, January 07, 2007


There's overdue, and then there's OVERdue

Robert Nuranen is a more honest guy than most of us are. He recently returned a book he had checked out for a ninth-grade assignment -- 47 years ago.

"Nuranen said his mother misplaced the copy of 'Prince of Egypt' while cleaning the house. The family came across it every so often, only to set it aside again. He found it last week while looking through a box in the attic," the Associated Press reports.

"I figured I'd better get it in before we waited another 10 years," he said after turning it in Friday with the $171.32 check. 'Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing.'"

This story makes me think back to the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry is harrassed by a library cop, name o' Bookman, for a twenty-years-overdue book. Quoth Library Cop Bookman:

"Sure, we're too old to change the world, but what about that kid, sitting down, opening a book, right now, in a branch at the local library and finding drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees on the 'Cat in the Hat' and the 'Five Chinese Brothers?' Doesn't he deserve better?"

Tee hee!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Memo to Lou Dobbs: You don't know nothin'

Pat Buchanan is not the only right-leaning talking head whose grasp of economics is woefully lacking. Lou Dobbs, who fancies himself a populist firebrand for the "working class," could also use a tutorial in basic supply-and-demand issues as well.

Mr. Dobbs feels that the United States' lage trade deficit is a sign that the overall economy is hoisted on weak stilts. This open letter to Dobbs demonstrates that nothing could be a longer distance from the truth. A sample:

"Admittedly, the word 'deficit' sounds ominous. In fact, though, America's trade deficit is evidence of its economic vigor and promise. Here's why:

"When Americans buy foreign-made goods and services, foreigners earn dollars. The only way America would run no trade deficit is if foreigners spent all of these dollars buying goods and services from Americans. Instead, though, foreigners invest some of their dollars in America. They buy American corporate stock, they build their own factories and retail outlets in the US, they lend dollars to Uncle Sam, and they hold some dollars in reserve as cash.

"Aren't you proud that so many people the world over eagerly invest their hard-earned wealth in America?

"As an American, I'm proud and optimistic. Foreigners invest in the US so readily because its economy is so strong. And even better, these investments strengthen the economy by creating more capital for American workers. These investments raise workers' productivity and wages.

"Remember: A trade deficit is not synonymous with debt."


Why McCain-Feingold should be repealed ...

I hate to use base vernacular, but the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act is complete and utter crap. Here's proof:

"It looks like John McCain has a little explaining to do to the NASCAR set.

"Kirk Shelmerdine - one of the greatest pit-crew chiefs ever, most famously for the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. - is today engaged in a less-successful second career as a driver. But to the Federal Election Commission, he's just a reckless campaign-finance law violator.

"The day after Christmas, the FEC announced that it was sending Shelmerdine a 'letter of admonishment' for his actions during the 2004 presidential campaign - namely, putting a 'Bush/Cheney '04' decal on a panel of his car for a total of four races."


The "Clinton surplus"

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page sets the record straight 'bout the "Clinton surplus":

"The budget improvement in the late 1990s was a result of three events: the initial spending restraint under the Republican Congress in 1995 and 1996 as part of their pledge to balance the budget; a huge reduction in military spending, totaling nearly 2 percent of GDP, over the decade; and rapid economic growth, which always causes a bounce in revenues."

Thursday, January 04, 2007


January 4, 2007: The nightmare begins


John McCain: Jackass

Does John McCain really want to be the GOP nominee for president in 2008? If he does, what explains his penchant for doing everything humanly possible to piss off the folks who turn out for Republican primary elections? This is not something a person who wants to endure himself to Republican voters should be saying:

"By the way, I think [a Mexico-U.S. border] fence is least effective [way to control illegal immigration]. But I’ll build the godd*mned fence if they want it."

Meanwhile, John Hawkins is out with his list of the 21 Most Annoying People On The Right in 2006. Who's number 1? None other that John McCain:

"The #1 Republican advocate for coddling terrorists at Gitmo, amnesty for illegals, and curtailing free speech about elections. If the Republicans in the Senate are planting a thumb in the eye of conservatives, 9 times out of 10, you can count on this egomaniac being at the root of it."


Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Little Bob courts the GOP

The City Paper's Bill Harless reports that former U.S. Rep. Bob Clement, aka Little Bob, is actively seeking the help of prominent Nashville Republicans as he gears up to run for mayor. Clement, who recently had a sit-down meeting with Republican State Rep. Beth Harwell, had this t'say:

"'I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, but from the first day of this campaign I wanted to reach out to everyone,' Clement said in the statement. 'This is a non-partisan race and Nashville needs a leader who will represent every part of this community. I was a moderate in Congress.'"

Clement tried to pass himself off as a right-leaning moderate during his 2002 campaign for U.S. Senate, which he lost to Lamar Alexander. During that campaign, I had conversations with several fellow Republicans during which it was suggested that a Senator Clement might not be such a bad thing. Each time I heard such, I asked the following question: "If Clement's so conservative, how did he manage to win re-election to the U.S. House six times from a district that's dominated by public and private sector unions?" It's a question that deserves to be pondered - nay, answered - as Clement, who received a lifetime rating of 30 from the American Conservative Union, again tries to pass himself off as a "moderate."

My biggest beef with Bob Clement isn't his campaign, if you will, to re-cast himself as another Zell Miller. No, my biggest beef with Clement is the fact that he's a tad, well, ignorant when it comes to basic economic principles. For example:

In 1992 Clement ran a television commercial in which he said, "Government cannot be all things to all people. What government can do is create jobs." Now, anybody who's spent five minutes studying an introductory economics text should choke upon reading that statement. The government can create conditions conducive to job creation; but actually creating jobs is not something the government in and of itself can actually do. Clement should've known better.

The prospect of a social-crusading, property tax-raising mayor, see At-Large Councilman David Briley, will no doubt lead some Republicans to support Bob Clement. Most of that support, however, will be monetary. Indeed, don't look for there to be roving bands of Republicans for Clement activists knocking on doors and manning phone banks at any point during next year's mayoral campaign.


POTUS represents

President George W. Bush has a most interesting op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. This makes perfect sense:

The elections have not reversed the laws of economics. It is a fact that economies do best when you reward hard work by allowing people to keep more of what they have earned. And we have seen that businesses can expand and hire more workers when they have more money to invest--and since August 2003, America's employers have added more than seven million new jobs.

It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues. Because revenues have grown and we've done a better job of holding the line on domestic spending, we met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule. By continuing these policies, we can balance the federal budget by 2012 while funding our priorities and making the tax cuts permanent. In early February, I will submit a budget that does exactly that. The bottom line is tax relief and spending restraint are good for the American worker, good for the American taxpayer, and good for the federal budget. Now is not the time to raise taxes on the American people.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


The 20 Most Annoying Liberals

John Hawkins has posted the Twenty Most Annoying Liberals In The United States, 2006 Edition, over at Right Wing News. Keith Olbermann checks in at number one, and rightfully so ... no pun intended.

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